Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the cause of human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is a zoonotic infection of staggering proportions and social impact. Yet uncertainty persists regarding its natural reservoir. The virus most closely related to HIV-1 is a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) thus far identified only in captive members of the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes troglodytes. Here we report the detection of SIVcpz antibodies and nucleic acids in fecal samples from wild-living P. t. troglodytes apes in southern Cameroon, where prevalence rates in some communities reached 29 to 35%. By sequence analysis of endemic SIVcpz strains, we could trace the origins of pandemic (group M) and nonpandemic (group N) HIV-1 to distinct, geographically isolated chimpanzee communities. These findings establish P. t. troglodytes as a natural reservoir of HIV-1.
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African primates are naturally infected with over 40 different simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs), two of which have crossed the species barrier and generated human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2)1,2. Unlike the human viruses, however, SIVs do not generally cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in their natural hosts3. Here we show that SIVcpz, the immediate precursor of HIV-1, is pathogenic in free-ranging chimpanzees. By following 94 members of two habituated chimpanzee communities in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, for over 9 years, we found a 10- to 16-fold higher age-corrected death hazard for SIVcpz-infected (n = 17) compared to uninfected (n = 77) chimpanzees. We also found that SIVcpz-infected females were less likely to give birth and had a higher infant mortality rate than uninfected females. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of post-mortem spleen and lymph node samples from three infected and two uninfected chimpanzees revealed significant CD4+ T-cell depletion in all infected individuals, with evidence of high viral replication and extensive follicular dendritic cell virus trapping in one of them. One female, who died within 3 years of acquiring SIVcpz, had histopathological findings consistent with end-stage AIDS. These results indicate that SIVcpz, like HIV-1, is associated with progressive CD4+ T-cell loss, lymphatic tissue destruction and premature death. These findings challenge the prevailing view that all natural SIV infections are non-pathogenic and suggest that SIVcpz has a substantial negative impact on the health, reproduction and lifespan of chimpanzees in the wild.
A standard panel of subtype C human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Env-pseudotyped viruses was created by cloning, sequencing, and characterizing functional gp160 genes from 18 acute and early heterosexually acquired infections in South Africa and Zambia. In general, the gp120 region of these clones was shorter (most evident in V1 and V4) and less glycosylated compared to newly transmitted subtype B viruses, and it was underglycosylated but no different in length compared to chronic subtype C viruses. The gp120s also exhibited low amino acid sequence variability (12%) in V3 and high variability (39%) immediately downstream of V3, a feature shared with newly transmitted subtype B viruses and chronic viruses of both subtypes. When tested as Env-pseudotyped viruses in a luciferase reporter gene assay, all clones possessed an R5 phenotype and resembled primary isolates in their sensitivity to neutralization by HIV-1-positive plasmas. Results obtained with a multisubtype plasma panel suggested partial subtype preference in the neutralizing antibody response to infection. The clones were typical of subtype C in that all were resistant to 2G12 (associated with loss of N-glycosylation at position 295) and most were resistant to 2F5, but all were sensitive to 4E10 and many were sensitive to immunoglobulin G1b12. Finally, conserved neutralization epitopes in the CD4-induced coreceptor binding domain of gp120 were poorly accessible and were difficult to induce and stabilize with soluble CD4 on Env-pseudotyped viruses. These results illustrate key genetic and antigenic properties of subtype C HIV-1 that might impact the design and testing of candidate vaccines. A subset of these gp160 clones are suitable for use as reference reagents to facilitate standardized assessments of vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody responses.
Background: Genes in the CCCH family encode zinc finger proteins containing the motif with three cysteines and one histidine residues. They have been known to play important roles in RNA processing as RNA-binding proteins in animals. To date, few plant CCCH proteins have been studied functionally.
Recently, graphene-based semiconductor photocatalysts have attracted more attention because of their enhanced photocatalytic activity caused by interfacial charge transfer (IFCT). However, the effect of a chemical bond is rarely involved for the IFCT. In this work, TiO2/graphene composites with a chemically bonded interface were prepared by a facile solvothermal method using tetrabutyl orthotitanate (TBOT) as the Ti source. The chemically bonded TiO2/graphene composites effectively enhanced their photocatalytic activity in photodegradation of formaldehyde in air, and the graphene content exhibited an obvious influence on the photocatalytic activity. The prepared composite with 2.5 wt % graphene (G2.5-TiO2) showed the highest photocatalytic activity, exceeding that of Degussa P25, as-prepared pure TiO2 nanoparticles, and the mechanically mixed TiO2/graphene (2.5 wt %) composite by a factor of 1.5, 2.6, and 2.3, respectively. The enhancement in the photocatalytic activity was attributed to the synergetic effect between graphene and TiO2 nanoparticles. Other than the graphene as an excellent electron acceptor and transporter, the enhanced photocatalytic activity was caused by IFCT through a C–Ti bond, which markedly decreased the recombination of electron–hole pairs and increased the number of holes participating in the photooxidation process, confirmed by XPS analysis, the gaseous phase transient photocurrent response, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectra. This work about effective IFCT through a chemically bonded interface can provide new insights for directing the design of new heterogeneous photocatalysts, which can be applied in environmental protection, water splitting, and photoelectrochemical conversion.
Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa.
Artificial stimuli-responsive surfaces that can mimic the dynamic function of living systems have attracted much attention. However, there exist few artificial systems capable of responding to dual- or multistimulation as the natural system does. Herein, we synthesize a pH and glucose dual-responsive surface by grafting poly(acrylamidophenylboronic acid) (polyAAPBA) brush from aligned silicon nanowire (SiNW) array. The as-prepared surface can reversibly capture and release targeted cancer cells by precisely controlling pH and glucose concentration, exhibiting dual-responsive AND logic. In the presence of 70 mM glucose, the surface is pH responsive, which can vary from a cell-adhesive state to a cell-repulsive state by changing the pH from 6.8 to 7.8. While keeping the pH at 7.8, the surface becomes glucose responsive--capturing cells in the absence of glucose and releasing cells by adding 70 mM glucose. Through simultaneously changing the pH and glucose concentration from pH 6.8/0 mM glucose to pH 7.8/70 mM glucose, the surface is dual responsive with the capability to switch between cell capture and release for at least 5 cycles. The cell capture and release process on this dual-responsive surface is noninvasive with cell viability higher than 95%. Moreover, topographical interaction between the aligned SiNW array and cell protrusions greatly amplifies the responsiveness and accelerates the response rate of the dual-responsive surface between cell capture and release. The responsive mechanism of the dual-responsive surface is systematically studied using a quartz crystal microbalance, which shows that the competitive binding between polyAAPBA/sialic acid and polyAAPBA/glucose contributes to the dual response. Such dual-responsive surface can significantly impact biomedical and biological applications including cell-based diagnostics, in vivo drug delivery, etc.
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